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The Prehistory of the Silk Road ENCOUNTERS WITH ASIA Victor H. Mair, Series Editor Encounters with Asia is an interdiseiplinary series dedicated to the ex- ploration of all the major regions and cultures of this vast continent, Its timeframe extends from the prehistoric to the contemporary; geographic scope ranges from the Urals and the Caucasus to the Pa- cific. A particular focus of the series is the Silk Road in all of its rami fications: religion, art, music, medicine, science, trade, and so forth. Among the disciplines represented in this series are history, archacok ogy, anthropology, ethnography, and linguistics. The series aims par- ticularly to clarify the complex interrelationships among various peo- ples within Asia, and also with societies beyond Asia, The Prehistory of the Silk Road E. E. KUZMINA EDITED BY VICTOR H. MAIR University of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia Copyright © 2008 University of Pe nspvania Press Allright reserve. Except for brief quotations used for purposes of review or scholarly citation, none of this book may be reproduced in any form by any means without weie ‘en permission from the publisher. - Published by University of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4112 Printed in the United Sates of America on acid ftee paper 0987654321 Library of Congress Catalogingin-Publication Data Kur'mina, EB. (Elena ESimoyna) ‘The prehistory of the Sik Road / EB. Kuamina; edited by Vitor H. Mair. . cm. ~ (Encounters with Asa) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-18: 978-08122-4041°2 (hardeover: alk, paper) ISBN10: 08122-4081-8 (uardcover: alk. paper) 1. Asia, Central—Anciquities. 2, Silk Road Antiquities Asia, Central. 1. Mair, ietor HLL. Tile 'DS828.K39 2007 98976—de22 2007085978 3. Bronve age— Contents Editor's Foreword vi ANote on Transcription xi Inoduction 1 1. The Dynamics of the Eurasian Steppe cology 8 2. Economic Developments in the Ponto-Caspian Steppe 18 The First Stage of the Food-Producing Economy 9 The Second Stage of the Fond Producing Economy 23 ‘The Domestication and Early Use of the Horse 25 ‘The Development ofthe Pit Grave Cultural Community 32 The Spread of Wheeled Transport: A Prerequisite to the Opening of the Great Silk Road Routes 34 8. The Eurasian Steppe in the Bronze Age 39 ProtoUrban Culture in the Urals 40 The Chariots of the Eurasian Steppe 49 The Criss of Complex Econom, the Development of Nomadism in the Eurasian Steppe, and the Origins ofthe Great Sitk Road Rowes 59 The Origin and Spread of the Bactrian Camel 66 4, Archaeological Cultures of Southern Central Asia 71 Southern Turkmenistan 71 ‘The Lower and Middle Part of Transoxiana 76 Ferghana 78 Kirghistan | 82 5. Relations Between Eastern and Western Central Asia 88 Contacts of the Xinjiang People with the West in the Copper Age, ‘and the Tocharian Question 88 Contacs of the Xinjiang People with the Westin the Bronze Age 98 vi Contents 6. Conclusion 108 Appendix. Dating and Comparative Chronologies 115 Maps and Ilustrations 129 Notes 208 Bibliography 207 Index 243 Editor’s Foreword Elena Kuzmina's The Prehistory of the Silk Road is a major accomplish- ‘ment, and I am proud to have had a hand in making it a reality. There is, of course, tremendous interest in the Silk Road, but we have had to wait for this volume by Dr. Kuzmina to describe and analyze the preconditions that led to its establishment. The story she tells isa fasci- nating one that encompasses nearly the whole of Eurasia in Bronze ‘Age and Early Iron Age times ‘Having met Elena Kuzmina at several conferences in the United States and Kazakhstan during the mid-1990s, [ had come to realize that she possesses a phenomenal wealth of knowledge about the Bronze Age cultures of Central Asia. [read a number of her books and articles, especially Otkuda prishli Indoarii? (Whence Game the Indo-Aryans?), and I was all the more impressed by her masterful command of the archaeo- logical data concerning the early spread of Indo-European peoples (particularly the Indo-Tranians) toward the east. Consequently, around 1997, I asked Dr. Kuzmina if she would be willing to write a book about the prehistory of the Silk Road. Since no one had ever attempted to undertake a systematic study of the overall situation in Central Asia during the millennia preceding the establishment of the historical Silk Road, such a work was obviously much needed. Naturally, I was de- lighted when Dr. Kuzmina agreed to write the volume I had requested. ‘The Prehistory of the Silk Road is fundamentally a work of historical reconstruction. As such, it is complementary to archaeological field- work. Although these two approaches may be guided by different ques- tions and executed in disparate manners, both are vital for an apprecia- tion of a contested set of problems in the study of prehistory. Kuzmina’s monograph constitutes an excellent summrary and distilla- tion of a specific historical tradition of research, Her work is rooted in a particular school of Soviet learning, itself now a focus of study in viii Editor’s Foreword, anthropological and historical circles. The Prehistory of the Silk Road, however, is not purely and solely an instance of Soviet-style scholarship, for Dr. Kuzmina is also quite conversant with Western approaches and publications. These she has incorporated in her discussion of various phenomena, without jeopardizing the foundations of her own tradi tion. Thus, the present volume represents a high-level synthesis of past research—in both Russian and Western languages—on the emergence of mobility and exchange across the Eurasian Steppe. One may fairly say that it constitutes a fundamental investigation of the central ques tions on this subject that have been raised during the past century. As such, the task that Dr. Kuzmina set for herself is nothing short of ‘monumental, and her achievement is commensurately remarkable, ‘On the whole, the thinking in this volume derives from diverse intel- lectual traditions (Soviet/Marxist, Russian, Chinese, and Westen). Thus, itis a culturabhistorical reconstruction of issues that have been debated in various arenas for many decades; Dr. Kuzmina herself has been a major player in these debates for nearly fifty years. Perhaps one of the most daunting aspects of making Dr. Kuzmina’s ook available to an English-speaking audience is the question of how to cope with the various scholarly backgrounds from which it ema- nates, For instance, itis perfectly natural for Russian academicians (as it is for Chinese intellectuals, for that matter) to speak of ethnogenesis, genetic relationships, and even race, whereas these are all more or less sensitive topics in American society, and are consequently commonly avoided. Moreover, since current Western researchers customarily dis ‘count the morphological analysis of human physical types that is alto- gether normal in Russia and China, I have felt compelled to make cer- tain adjustments in the way such topies are broached. For example, Wester scholars, at most, speak of gene pools, but they are very cau- tious about referring to dolichocephaly and Mongoloids. While trying to maintain fidelity to Dr. Kuzmina’s wording and data as much as possible, I have often chosen circumlocutions to prevent unnecessary distraction from clouding her main arguments. Similarly, I have usually changed Dr, Kuzmina’s use of the word “tribes” to “peoples,” “groups,” or the like, and have substituted for outmoded Marxist terminology such as “productive economy” expressions that are more readily appre- hensible to an American audience. For simplicty’s sake, I have retained the recurring term “farmer” instead of replacing it with the more cum- bersome *agriculturalist” or the more familiar, but historically inaccu- rate, “peasant.” As for her use of the term “barbarians,” I have not replaced this word, since she intends it in the specific, nonderogatory sense of “intrusive groups appearing in a settled population.” I have also found it convenient in some cases to retain her archaic, generic | Editor's Foreword ix usage of “car” and “cattle.” Furthermore, Russian (and former Soviet) archaeologists and historians have their own elaborate system of dat- ing, chronology, and periodization. In this regard, I have preferred not to make any adjustments in Dr. Kuzmina’s presentation, because I be- lieve that it is important for Western scholars to understand the Rus- sian (and former Soviet) approach, Due to her profound and intimate knowledge of the scholarship on the Eurasian Steppe in prehistory, Dr. Kuzmina commands the litera- ture on this subject better than anyone else alive. This is surely true of the RussianJanguage sources, and her command of non-Russian lan- guage materials is likewise awe-inspiring. Consequently, the capacious bibliographies alone will make The Prehistory of the Silk Road a fre« quently consulted resource. In this volume, Dr. Kuzmina clarifies numerous issues that had hith- erto remained obscure or mysterious. For instance, she sifts through the widely scattered evidence concerning the earliest wheeled transport and convincingly shows that the first chariots were developed, not in. Mesopotamia as had previously been alleged, but in the southern Urals and the Pontic Steppe in the vicinity of the Black Sea. She also presents compelling archaeological evidence for the introduction of pastoralism to the northwestern fringes of the East Asian Heartland during the third millennium 8.c., which perfectly matches the latest results of an- cient DNA research on sheep. Another of Dr. Kuzmina’s outstanding achievements in this work is the ordering of Central Asian Bronze Age cultures and their correlation with the archaeological cultures of Eu- rope. The regions under discussion possess considerable ecological, cul tural, and artistic diversity. It is no mean feat for Dr. Kuzmina to sub- ‘sume these vast spaces under a unified approach and to make sense of them as a whole, Similarly, the author incorporates enormous amounts of material concerning climate, geography, and culture (much of it hitherto unavailable in English), synthesizing her findings into a com- pact, integral presentation, Because of the density of the data, this vol. ‘ume will undoubtedly demand concentration on the part of the reader. The ample rewards in comprehending Bronze Age Central Asia, how. ever, will certainly render the effort worthwhile. To make the most of one’s encounter with The Prehistory of the Silk Road, one needs to acquaint oneself with climatological terms like “plu- vial” and “Holocene,” and occasionally be willing to look up the loca- tion of farflung places in a good atlas. For unfamiliar archaeological terminology, the reader may consult J. P. Mallory and D. Q. Adams, eds., Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997), which is both up-to-date and authoritative.